Michelle Gayle on what Eurovision means to her

There’s some very talented singers competing to be the UK’s Eurovision entry on Saturday. Here, ex EastEnder Michelle Gayle assesses her chances… CLICK here to listen to Michelle Gayle singing Woo (U Got Me) Are you excited about being involved in this year’s Eurovision?
“Yeah, very excited. It’s an honour really to do it and I’m eager to get on with it. We’ve had such bad results in recent years, so I just feel we must do something special this time around and really make an effort to do better.” Have the bad results been the result of bad songs or political voting?
“People always try to say it’s political voting to somehow excuse it, but if we’re honest we haven’t sent a song to Eurovision that we’re all really proud of. I think it has to start from home. If we’re not proud of our chosen record why should we expect others to vote for it. We need to pick a record we can all get behind and we’re all glad to know that this song is representing us. If it happens like that, then people all over the continent can see the buzz on websites and in chatrooms, and I think that can be infectious, and people will view the song in a better way anyway.” What’s your song entry like?
“I co-wrote it. I actually woke up one morning singing it and it took off from there. The BBC had asked me if I’d be interested in doing Eurovision, and this one seemed perfect for it. A lot of the records I’d done have been quite ‘dancey’. But this is even more up-tempo than I normally do because I just felt I needed something really infectious and really catchy. It’s got a very catchy chorus, and has a bit of a Sixties vibe to it too. It’s called Woo (U Got Me) and is based on an experience of a friend of mine who went out with a Spanish guy who couldn’t speak a word of English and she didn’t speak Spanish.” Are there going to be any gimmicks in your performance like there were with previous songs, like Scooch?
“No there’ll be none of that. Apart from my backing singers, I’m just going to sing normally and let the song speak for itself. The Serbian song that won it last year, was just a strong song, sung well. Sometimes in Eurovision performers can go overboard on the gimmicks, but it didn’t work last time.” Is Eurovision something you’ve always wanted to do?
“When I was a kid, it had the likes of Bucks Fizz and Johnny Logan doing well, and I thought it was a wonderful thing and would be amazing to do. Then it kind of petered out later in the Eighties, but revived itself again in the past decade. Now they’ve revamped it into this huge contest, it’s just a really big thing to do and I’m looking forward to it.” How did your records fare in Europe?
“Sweetness did very well in Scandanavia and France. I did perform over in Denmark and Sweden quite a few times and got a good reception. That should help if I get through.” Have you heard any of your competitors yet?
“I haven’t. I expect I will soon. It’s a slightly different format this time. First of all I’m up against Andy Abraham from X Factor. Then there are two girl groups and a Joseph and Maria from those past BBC talent shows.” What do you think about the event?
“It’s great TV, but I just want us to do better. Some of the strange acts are a spectacle to see. And of course Terry’s Wogan’s commentary is often what makes it. It’s hilarious I don’t know what it would be like without him, if he retires or whatever. Who could possibly do it? They’d have to have someone like Jonathan Ross, someone who can see the funny side.” What have been your favourite Eurovision songs?
“Well It’s got to be Bucks Fizz and Making Your Mind Up, although I do remember liking Johnny Logan very much when he first won. He was really cute and I used to have a crush on him. He was very young, then did it again a few years later and was just as good. It’s amazing that he won it twice.” Can you see this relaunching your singing career?
“I haven’t been really looking to a singing career, have been more interested in acting again. I’m always writing songs though. So it’s always there. I have no plans really, just concentrating on doing this at the moment.” CLICK here to listen to Michelle Gayle singing Woo (U Got Me)